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FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace

News/Business. (2013) White House senior adviser David Plouffe; Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.); panel discussion with Brit Hume, Liz Marlantes, Bill Kristol and Juan Williams. New. (CC) (Stereo)

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Washington 13, Us 12, David Plouffe 5, T. Rowe 4, Algeria 4, Hollywood 4, Mali 4, Ronald Reagan 4, Boehner 3, Obama 3, U.s. 3, America 2, Schumer 2, Chuck Hagel 2, Newtown 2, Lipper 2, Chris Wallace 2, Juan 2, Al Qaeda 2, Nra 2,
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  FOX    FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace    News/Business.  (2013) White House senior adviser David  
   Plouffe; Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.); panel discussion with Brit...  

    January 21, 2013
    2:00 - 3:00am PST  

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>> chris: i'm chris wallace. president obama begins his second term today. facing tough challenges at home, and overseas. ♪ >> chris: from the debt debate to immigration reform. to a resurgent al qaeda. how will the president pursue
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his agenda, and a place in history? we'll ask two men who will play a big role in his legacy. david plouffe, senior advisor to the president. and, roy blunt, a member of the senate republican leadership. then, tough talk about gun control. we'll ask our sunday panel about the president's plan to prevent more mass shootings and if congress will pass it. and, our power player of the week. director of the small washington church, where presidents have gone to pray for almost two centuries. all, right now, on fox news sun. ♪ >> chris: and, hello, again, from fox news in washington. we'll talk with our guest in a moment, but, first, let's get the latest on what is already a busy morning, the first official day of president obama's second term. fox news chief white house correspondent, ed henry, is tracking events from the north lawn. ed? >> reporter: good morning, chris. the crowds here are certainly smaller than four years ago but
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there is still celebration in the air, interrupted by the realities of the job and the president got frequent updates how the terror attack in algeria and overnight put out a statement condemning it in the strongest terms and it is a reminder of the extreme threat from al qaeda in northern africa, one of the many challenges waiting for him at the start of the second term. >> so help me god. >> president barack obama: so help me god. >> reporter: pomp and circumstance, one swearing in down and three to gand vice presidenbiden sworn inat his residence, by sonia sotomayor. and they'll be laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknown, less than three hours from now it will be the president's turn at the white house, in the blue room. the constitution says he needs to be sworn in by noon, january 20th and when it falls on a sunday it happens here within
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the ceremonial swearing-in, happening tomorrow at the capital for both the president and vice president, and we are told the president has been through several drafts of the inaugural address and, two big themes, coming together on divisive issues and a call to action for the american people to stay engaged in the political process and, he will not get into policy details and will save it for his state of the union address which comes next month, on capitol hill. you know the president has taken a much more aggressive tone on issues like gun control, immigration reform but there are leftover issues, such as the stubbornly high unemployment, a budget deficit he promised to cut in half by the end of the first term. it is a joyous day for the president but reality will kick in. real fast. chris? >> chris: ed henry reporting from the white house, ed, thanks for that. joining me now is a member of the president's inner circle. senior advisor david plouffe. and, david, welcome back to fox news sunday. >> thanks for having me, chris.
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>> chris: before we get to the inauguration and the president's second term i want to ask you about this terrorist attack in algeria. what is your latest information on how many americans were taken hostage, what is the status of those americans, and, what does the president think of the way the algerian military handled the situation? >> we have no additional information to report and the state department will do that. this is a reminder countries around the world share a joint threat from the terrorist organization, why we're so active about providing expertise and information and technology, to help them destroy these networks where they exist. and, a reminder, obviously northern africa and other parts of the world, al qaeda and al qaeda-affiliated groups remain a threat and we have to remember, you know, the terrorists deserve they'll blame and fault. it's a heinous act and i think we'll talk to the algerian government in the days to come to understand what fully, exactly happened here. >> chris: any second thoughts
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about the way the algerians handled this? there's a lot of -- not only militant but hostages who were killed. >> well, listen, i think we will obviously be in contact with them about this but the focus needs to be on the terrorists and, a reminder, all across the globe, countries are threat ended by terrorists, who will use civilians, to try and advance their twisted and sick agenda. and i think that that is why this really is an -- will require an international response. and that is why we are so focused on -- with our counterterrorism partners around the globe, northern africa and middle east and elsewhere, working with -- sharing intelligence and technology, expertise, so they can do a good job of destroying the networks before events like this happen. >> chris: let me ask you about that: during the campaign, president obama often talked about al qaeda, as a spent force. but, just this week, when this terrorist action happened, defense secretary panetta talked about al qaeda, in a very
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different way. let's watch: >> president barack obama: we've decimated al qaeda's current leadership and brought usama bin laden to justice he deserved. [cheers and applause]. >> al qaeda is still there. they are still a threat. they are a threat in yemen and a threat in somalia. they are a threat as we speak in mali. >> chris: does the president now recognize that al qaeda is not decimated, but is in fact resurging in the countries that leon panetta talked about and what is he prepared to do to take them out in algeria and libya and across the region. >> the president recognizes that. each and every day he is monitoring activity an attempting to disrupt them. >> chris: why in the campaign did he say they were decimated. >> there is no question the core al qaeda leadership in the region has been decimated and you are seeing across the globe
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groups mushrooming up and what we have done in yemen and in northern africa -- but, again we'll take the lead where we can, obviously. to do all we can, but we have to partner with our allies, and our counterterrorism partners to make sure they, themselves, have the expertise, technology to disrupt these plans and we have to remain villagilant and it wi be a challenge and i don't think anyone can question, in the last four years al qaeda leadership has been seriously weakened but the challenges remain. >> chris: what is the path the president will lay out for his second term. >> i want to be careful not to get ahead of him but he'll talk about, on tomorrow, how our founding values and visions can provide us a guiding pathway in a changing world and will talk about a political system that doesn't require us to resolve all of our disputes and political differences but requires us to seek common ground when it can and should and will make the point
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strongly. people in washington need to seek common ground and he'll talk about how the american people. if they are not engaged in these debates, progress and change will not happen. and i think it is important to look at this and the state of the union as a package and, he will allow the vision for the second term and where america needs to go, tomorrow, and, specifically details and blueprints will be included in the state of the union. >> chris: i think it is fair to say that the president has been more combative, even confrontational, with republicans here in washington, since his re-election, certainly the way he handled the fiscal cliff and i want to point to a clip of the president and his press conference earlier this week. take a look: >> president barack obama: they have suspicions about social security. they have suspicions about whether government should make sure that kids in poverty are getting enough to eat. >> chris: now we learn that the president is taking his campaign organization and transforming it
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into an issue advocacy group, organizing for action. is it fair to say that the president has given up on the inside game of negotiating here in washington and is much more interested in bringing outside pressure to bear on the people up on capitol hill. >> chris, you have to do both and i think that is a lesson from the first four years, you can't do one or the other. and i think we'll continue and, listen, the fiscal cliff deal you talked about, we have just about every republican senator who voted for this. we have cut taxes with the republicans and cut spending with the republicans and democrats, on evaluatbviously a done a lot of other things but the american people have to be engaged in this and we did thorough research after the election and this is what they want to do, focus on balanced debt reduction, how to help the middle class, immigration, gun safety, energy and we want to be sure in the country these debates are not quiet debates in rooms in washington, exclusively. that there are people out there in the country pushing for action. >> chris: when the president
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talks in that clip about the republicans have suspicions about social security. suspicions about feeding poor kids, that is not true. >> listen, chris -- >> they have different ideas about how to save social security. not suspicions about social security. >> well, i think again, where common ground does exist on the need to reduce the deficit in a balanced way that will help the economy grow, amongst democrats on the hill, and, a few republicans, the barrier to progress here is not the president. we need to see more republicans and congress -- in congress willing to compromise, even on revenues. >> chris: they say they need to see the president willing to compromise on spending cuts and entitlement reform. >> let's look at what we offered speaker boehner. it is public. $400 billion in health care savings we offered, and $200 billion of additional cuts in domestic spending and a trillion dollars in savings and look at where we started the negotiated process and the speaker, we went more than halfway. >> chris: is the president still
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willing to adjust the cost of living increase for entitlements, is he still willing to raise the eligibility age for medicare? are those still on the table? >> i will not talk about specifics that may be in the package. it is will report in the discussions with speaker boehner we were willing to entertain the cost of living adjustment. but, the overall package, we put over a trillion dollars including the proposal on cpi. over a trillion dollars, in spending cuts. now, some of the republicans say they don't want revenue. speaker boehner himself said there was $800 million of revenue, simply from closing corporate loopholes an loopholes for the wealthy. surely there is additional revenue we can get from closing loopholes, not rates, that was done -- dealt with at the end of the year and if we can close loopholes, shipping jobs overseas, energy company subsidies and spending cuts, tough spending cuts and as you said, we have criticism, as you know from members of our party and the president has shown he
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is willing to do tv things on entitlement reform, and he believes we have to reduce the deficit and we have to preserve the important programs like medicare and social security. >> chris: there is a long history of presidents running into trouble in their second term, reagan and iran contra and clinton and monica lewinsky and bush with katrina and the financial melt down, has president obama thought about this and how does he hope to avoid what most people seem to think is the single biggest problems the second term, which is variously described as hubris and presidential overreach? >> we have a history and, if you look at ronald reagan he accomplished tax reform in the second term and president clinton made progress towards the balanced budget. there was good second-term accomplishment. it is not like we're roaming around the white house looking for things to do. we have immigration, gun safety, measures to help the economy and energy and we have a stack agenda here. there is urgency in the country for us to address this. we'll bring the same energy and focus he did to the second term.
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obviously, other administrations got, you know, in trouble with scandals. we avoided that and hope to continue that. but, those issues and others, education reform, there is just no shortage of things we can do to help the american middle class and the economy. we're going to pursue those and we are mindful of it and i think you have to stay connected with what you ran on and you can't bring stuff out of thin air, you know, i think one of the problems with the social security privatization effort during the bush administration was that wasn't really a core thing that he campaigned on. so, the things we campaigned on we'll bring forward in the second term and try and find common ground on. >> chris: all right. the time we have left i want to go through several second term issues and we are beginning to run out of time. a lightning round which i know you love! quick questions and answers. what does the president think of the house republican plan of extending the debt ceiling three months, until april and clean, except for the fact they want to link it to the idea that both the house and the senate pass a
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budgetnd and if they don't they lose their pay? >> i think -- we don't think short-term is smart for the economy, 2-3 months still has uncertainty and we are very pleased to see the republicans in the house drop their previous position, which was, you know, they were only going to pay the bills, essentially, they racked up if that he got what they wanted from the deep spending cuts in medicare and other programs. so that is progress but what we need to do is, washington needs to start contributing certainty and help to the economy and if you talk to anybody in the country -- >> you will not veto a three-month extension, are you? >> again, i think that there is long term debt and short-term debt. i think we have made progress on the budget and cut spending, in 2011, the budget was cut over a trillion dollars and signed a -- >> you were forced into that by republicans. >> no, we weren't and we were sitting around the table with them for a long time to come to that position and the budget -- we cut over a trillion dollars
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in spending and had the deal with revenues, so i think that both sides, again, it comes back to where there is common ground. we should be able to come up with a package and would all be better served if congress starts working more, and we are not careening crisis-to-crisis an deadline to deadline -- >> passing the budget -- excuse me, sir, regular order would be passing a budget which the senate has not done since 2009. >> my point is we made progress and the house had the budget -- >> the key thing? >> the key thing is, if the house and senate republicans are willing to compromise on closing loopholes. they said they were for and need to be consistent with their previous position, and we can come to agreement on the kind of spending cuts we need, entitlement reform we need to do. think about that: there is no reason at some point this year we can't have a fiscal package that not only reduces the debt in the long term but gives us the ability in the short-term to help the economy. >> chris: the lightning round,
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let's get back to it. this week the president proposed the toughest new gun control measures ever. but when it came to violent games and violent videos, all of the president said is let's have a study. why not is that? why didn't he challenge his friends in hollywood, supporters in hollywood, clean up your act and knock it off? >> well, the president has spoken about it throughout his -- >> why didn't he say to hollywood, stop the video games? >> first of all, it starts with parents. we have to take responsibility for our children. secondly, the study is really important. because, we can, with scientific background, understand the direct -- >> a study that tells you that people -- >> these movies an vidd games, people are surrounded by videos, kids -- >> he is going easy an hollywood -- >> let's focus on the core
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issue. there is a huge consensus in the country, including a vast majority of republicans that things like assault weapons, high capacity magazines, universal background checks, making progress on mental health are things we should and can do, to help reduce gun violence and, no law or set of laws will end violence. obviously. or the deficit. but, if we can save one life through action, we can do it. we think we can get the votes in the senate -- >> assault weapons? >> the president put forward a variety of things, assault weapons and high capacity magazines an universal background checks and mental health. school safety. so, we think there is support for a lot of these things and we'll push as hard as we can. >> chris: finally, less and a minute left, most of obamacare goes into effect at the end of this year, beginning of next year. states are having problems, already, putting the exchanges into effect and insurance companies an employers are having problems. is there any chance the president will say, let's slow
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down and delay the january 1st, 2014 kick-in of a lot of the stuff and allow people more time to implement it? >> no. no, i think -- no. but hhsr, health department is working with employers and states to be flexible and making sure we work with them very closely. >> chris: january 1st, 2014? >> no, i think that -- the implementation of health care, even though it is a legislative victory and accomplishment that happened a while ago, it will be incredibly important, to the country and also for the president. we have to implement it smartly and work hard to make sure that the promise of health care becomes a reality. >> chris: david, thank you for coming in today, as always and while you are leaving the white house at the end of the week you'll be an advisor for the new advocacy group, organizing for action, so you are not done with us yet. >> absolutely not! >> chris: that's a promise. thank you. up next, a top republican senator, roy blunt, on the president's second-term agenda.
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(blowing sound) ask your doctor about spiriva. >> chris: inaugural pageanty aside the partisan brawl in washington will continue. joining me to discuss this president's agenda for the next four years is a key republican, senator roy blunt. vice chair of the republican conference and senator, welcome back to fox news sunday. >> good to be with you, chris. >> chris: you just heard david plouffe lay out the president's goals and approach for the next
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four years. how do you think his new combativeness is going to work? >> well, seems like to me it is a lot like the old combativeness, remember the president said during the campaign that you can't solve problems from inside washington. there is only one guy that can actually lead in washington in a way that can find a solution to big problems and that is the president. and, i was surprised this week to see him transition his campaign committee into an ongoing campaign-style effort to have an impact on the washington debate because it doesn't seem to me that the lesson of the first term would be that that work out very well. and, you know, our problems are big but they are not necessarily all that complicated. everybody has a pretty good sense of what has to happen. and, i'd like to see the president take advantage of the second term, and divided government, a good time to solve big problems. >> chris: what about the white house argument, senator, that you you, congressional republicans, have done everything you can to block his
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agenda? >> i just -- i think the greater historic argument would be that he has not really done much to advance a specific agenda. he speaks in general terms, he likes the executive order approach, a whole lot better than the legislative approach and you really can't get all that far with executive orders. you've got to legislate and you've got to legislate realistically. you've got to realize you don't control the entire congress. it takes -- to get a bill passed into law and, you have to come up with something that a democrat senate and a republican house, and the white house, can, at the end of the day, be for. or you just continue to kind of patch things together, in ways that don't come up with real solutions. >> chris: you talk about the transitioning -- his campaign machine to an advocacy group. what about the idea that -- of the outside game? he is going to reach out to voters, go over your heads and put pressure on you? >> i just don't think there is any reason to believe from
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looking at the last four years that that produces much of a result. it might produce a stalemate or get the president reelected, but he's not running for a third term. so, we need to forget about the politics of this, i think, and look at what we can do to move the economy forward and look at what we can do to help create private sector jobs and look at what the federal government can do, in the international sense, to protect americans. at home and abroad. and, i think that takes a cooperative leadership effort with the congress and the president is seen -- at least, i think a couple of times and members of the house and senate have seen this movie on lincoln, the recent movie on lincoln and the lesson of that movie, i think was, when hard things get done, they get done because a president decided he was going to do what was necessary to get them done and that means you have to realistically look at the world you live in and the washington you have been given by the american voters to work with. >> chris: let's talk about some of the specific items that will be on your agenda. what do you think of the new
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house republican plan to pass a short-term extension of the debt limit until april and in the meantime, insist that the senate pass a budget or all of you lose your pay. >> i think all of us losing our pay if we don't pass the budget is the right thing to do. i'm for sutzing spending, passing the budget is not quite enough, but at least it is a step in the right direction. if you went to your credit counselor and said, i can't pay my bills, he wouldn't say, we'll extend your limit, he'd say, what will you do to pay your bills in the future and a budget is a big step toward doing that. one of the frustrations i think of the last three years has been, no budget, for a year, not a single appropriations bill on the senate floor and now, another tool comes along, the debt ceiling, which -- we don't use that tool, either and apparently we don't use any tool it takes to get our credit situation where it needs to be. but, passing a budget would be a big moment and i'd like to see
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us do that. >> chris: let's talk about a couple of the tools you could conceivably use. and that raises the question, when should republicans make their stand on spending cuts? some people are saying, do it on march 1st. when the automatic sequestration cuts, $100 billion, for the next year, would kick in and that you use that as an opportunity to demand the spending cuts. others would say, march 27th, when you run out of money and the government would shut down. is there a point, there, that you see, when you think congressional republicans, house and senate, could say here's what we'll demand, serious spending cuts? >> well, i think all three of the points, the two you mentioned and later, either right now, at the end of february or if we kick it forward to the end of april, the debt ceiling itself, they all become moments to talk about spending sequestration, is -- we need to stop spending, we need to reduce spending, but, it would be better if we could figure out how to do that in a targeted away or and across-the-board way and the
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worst way to have spending cuts, we can't decide how to cut anything and we'll cut everything a little bit and that is not the right thing to do and hopefully, we can find a better solution to sequestration, in the arm services committee and other places. >> chris: let's talk about another item on the agenda. you have an a-rating from the national rifle association and this week you accused the president of trying to -- wanting to try to take away our constitutional right when it comes to the right to bear arms and mr. obama says that he is protecting other rights. take a look: >> president barack obama: that most fundamental set of rights to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, fundamental rights that were denied to college students at virginia tech. and high school students at columbine and elementary school students in newtown. those rights are at stake. we're responsible. >> chris: question: can you support a measure that would limit the size of these high-capacity clips that hold 30 rounds or 100 rounds?
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can you support a universal background check? >> you know, let's see what they come up with in terms of a specific proposal -- specific proposals. certainly, at newtown, what an incredible tragedy for every family involved. for that community. i have got a 2nd grade son and i have grandchildren about that age, and it was a terrible thing, those families, frankly, will never recover from. but, let's talk about changes that would have done something about that. so far, i don't see that. you know, connecticut is the -- one of the hardest places in the country to get a weapon but the young man had weapons but what else did the young man have? we had mental problems and a history of problems with security officials. as all of the cases the president mentioned did have. how do we share that information better? and let's do things that will make a difference here, rather than take one more opportunity to go at an old agenda. we had bans on things for a decade, that didn't seem to make
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any difference at all, but, during that same decade, our willingness to share information about mental problems, our willingness to share information between security officials and police officials, all declined. >> chris: let me ask you about the question, of sharing information. polls indicate, 90% of americans, 90% of americans, don't agree the sun will come up tomorrow! 90% agree with the idea of yourself back ground checks. if you have a concern about who is buying the guns and it wouldn't have happened, because the mom bought the gun in newtown but what is wrong with the idea of a screen to find out whether or not someone trying to buy a gun under any circumstances has a criminal record or a mental health problem. >> i think we ought to talk about that. the one thing you don't want to prevent is two guys who live next-door and decide they want to trade shot guns while talking about going hunting next week but, let's look at that and see. we have had proposals before, that i voted for, in the
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congress, that didn't get a majority that would have tried to deal with some of the loopholes. i think gun owners are generally for that. but you have to have a proposal that works, that doesn't create the problem of people not able to have the firearms they'd like to have. you know, the second amendment is there. it is part of the constitution. and, you can't just decide you want to avoid the constitution because you have come up with some reason that the constitution no longer works. you have to come up with a real proposal, present it to the congress, and have it done in a realistic way. you know, the majority leaders, the democrat majority leader of the senate says he doesn't believe gun legislation will be on the senate floor. it is not a republican versus democrat thing, it is a -- what can reasonably be done and is a moment we can do something about mem health an information-sharing and maybe about background checks and
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other things that's weas well b to be a plan that will work. >> chris: excuse me, 30 second left. one last quick question. you are a member of the senate armed services committee. is the opposition to the nomination of chuck hagel as secretary of defense, is the opposition beginning to fade? >> we saw at least one senator last week make a statement, senator schumer but i notice not a lot of people rallied to join him and said fit is good enough for schumer, it is good enough for me. chuck hagel has questions to answer and one will be why is it the position you held in the past about iranian sanctions and our support for israel, no longer appear to be your positions? i'm going to meet with him this week and, the committee i'm sure in those hearings, i'll have questions there, as well. and look forward to the chance to talk to him about what he'd do. he's going to have a lot to say about our national defense for a long time. as the secretary of defense, at this time. if he becomes the secretary of defense. >> chris: senator blunt, thank you, thanks so much for coming in. always a pleasure to talk to you. up next the president takes a
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combative tone as he begins his second term. we'll ask our panel how this aggressive approach will work in a divided government. ♪ i've always had to keep my eye on her... but, i didn't always watch out for myself. with so much noise about health care... i tuned it all out. with unitedhealthcare, i get information that matters... my individual health profile. not random statistics. they even reward me for addressing my health risks. so i'm doing fine... but she's still going to give me a heart attack. we're more than 78,000 people
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♪ >> president barack obama: it has been a busy and productive four years. and i expect the same for the next four years. i intend to carry out the agenda that i campaigned on. an agenda for new jobs, new opportunity, and, new security
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for the middle class. >> chris: the president, delivering a mission statement for his second term, which officially begins today. and it is time for our sunday group, brit hume, fox news senior political analyst. liz marlantes of the christian science monitor, bill kristol from the weekly standard and fox news political analyst, juan williams. what do you think of his initial approach to the second term. >> it will be a surprise to me if the tone he used in the news conference the other day where he -- as you showed earlier in the broadcast, he cast dispersions on the motivations of some of his political opponents i suspect he will not do that in an inauguration, i went back and looked at old inauguration speeches from earlier presidents, second inaugurals and they weren't as full of bringing us together as first ones are but they still tended to be relatively nonpartisan speeches and i think that would be appropriate and my guess is that that is what he'll
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do and if he doesn't we'll have real news. >> chris: what we can always hope for. liz. >> yeah, i agree with what brit said. i think the biggest challenge for obama in this inauguration speech, is, i look back at his first inauguration speech and one of the lines i think got a lot of attention was the issue of whether government is too big or too small, it is whether government works and ironically, after, you know, the past four years, i think most americans now would be far more inclined to answer that no. than before. and so i think the biggest challenge for obama is actually to give the country a sense that something is going to get done, the dysfunction in washington isn't hopeless. and, that he is going to be able to actually even in small ways, change things for the better. >> chris: well, i think it is fair to say, watching the first interview with david plouffe and the second interview with roy blunt, there was talk about common ground but, sure not a lot of specifics. bill, one of the interesting
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developments, and we talked about it with mruf, the president's campaign organization, turning into an issue advocacy group. obama for america, osa, is organizing for action, osa, and you and i remember -- i remember ronald reagan used this, if you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat. is that what it is about? and will this president be as successful as ronald reagan was in making guys feel the heat. >> he's entitled to tie and, ronald reagan was reelected with 50% of the vote and barack obama, 51 and, barack obama did not campaign on gun control which he's now -- a top legislature priority of the second term. >> chris: newtown happened... >> but anyononetheless, you get reelected -- and george bush got reelected on war and terror issues and making tax cuts permanent and, chose to forecast on social security reform and, had both houses of congress and
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got nowhere, i'm not sure the president is taking the right strategy. he won 51% of the vote, he is not ronald reagan. >> chris: juan? >> i think, it is interesting to be around town this weekend. and, great luster and expectation that attended the first inauguration is gone but the hope and change agenda, and especially, embodied in terms of the political campaign apparatus that we're going to see transformed into pushing agenda issues is still there and i think a lot of his liberal core base wants to see this president go bold, become more defiant and they view what republicans have been doing as obstructionism and trying to expedite president obama become a lame duck and ineffective. so i think on things like guns, by the way, bill, it might be heartfelt and there are lots of americans, some of the numbers chris wallace cited earlier who support steps in terms of realistic gun control in the country. also on immigration, on internally, even on downsizing
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the pentagon. i think that will be the president's second term agenda. >> chris: we'll talk about guns in the second segment but i want to talk about debt and the budget. brit, house republicans, they have be busy, too, and held a retreat, in williamsburg and came up with a new strategy which is basically to punt on the debt ceiling. not make the fight about the debt ceiling, pass the three-month extension into april and, instead, make their stand either on march 1, when the automatic sequestration, $100 billion in spending cuts takes effect or march 27 when the government runs out of money. good idea? >> i think so, i think the debt ceiling struggle is probably a loser. the public has been convinced i think to some extent by what amounts to false information, that flows out of the white house and other quarters and throughout too much of the media, that the failure to raise the debt limit would mean an automatic default on international debt which is not
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true, but, nonetheless, scary. and, i think they didn't want to face that. they didn't do well the last time and have chosen a strategy to use this to get the senate, indirectly to pass a budget, which would be kind of historic, sips it has not happened in several years. and would at least shift the focus away from themselves and as for fighting on the continuing resolution to keep the government only or the sequester, it remains to be seen what strategy, actually how they'll frame all of that. i'll be interested to see that. >> chris: liz, when i talked with david plouffe he made it sound so reasonable. well, you know, republicans will have to agree to some of the cuts they were suggesting, loopholes and, limiting deduction and we'll agree to spending and entitlement cuts. do you buy it? >> i mean, we'll see. it has been impossible for them to get there so far. i think there has been one kind
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of potentially good political outcome for republicans, out of backing down on the debt ceiling which is that all of the talk about how crazy that position was and how dangerous it was, has in a weird way, made -- if they go forward and do the straightforward government shut down over the cr, for example -- >> the continuing resolution. >> right, less scary, less like a big deal and less, you know, nuclear than what was being discussed before and in a way they've kind of given themselves room to go bigger on some of these things than maybe they would have had before. >> chris: and, one thing i would say is there is a new realization by the house leadership and the house ment n mentione mentioned. mentioned... coming up, after
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the break, tougher gun control laws, will congress pass the president's new plan?
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>> chris: still to come, our power player of the week. >> when word gets out the president is coming to worship. >> chris: st. john's has been linked to presidents for almost two centuries. >> you almost feel like the church will tilt over on one side because there are so many people on that one side. ♪
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>> president barack obama: most gun owners agree that we can respect the second amendment while keeping an irresponsible,
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law breaking few from causing harm on a massive scale. that is what these reforms are designed to do. >> the announcement by the president was less about protecting our children than it was about using our children to promote an anti-gun agenda, one he has had most of his political life. >> chris: president obama and the head of the national rifle association, on whether the administration's new gun control plan violates the second amendment. and, we're back with the panel. let's look at how the public reacted, in a fox news poll, to president obama's new proposals on gun control. 91% support universal background checks for gun sales. 60% favor armed guards in schools. ban high capacity clips, 56%, ban assault weapons, 54%. given those numbers, bill, how much of the president's plan do you expect congress to pass? >> i think maybe the universal background check and not much else. honestly. i just think, the more people look at the other proposals, wouldn't have any effect on the
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mass murders that as you said earlier, spurred the topic of gun control at the top of the agenda, none of the proposals would have affected newtown or the recent mass murders and generally speaking gun violence has gone down in the country in the last ten years and, it has gone down with -- >> mott mass murders. >> no, that has gone up. but that what is the president is proposing -- but what he is proposing has not almost anything to do with mass murders. maybe toughening up mental health rules honestly and, the ridiculed the nra for saying it, having armed guards at schools, and not gun free zones. >> chris: and the president does include money for that. >> and that will pass... >> chris: juan? >> the fact is the american people are of a mind that reasonable steps can be taken.
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it is unlikely that you will get the assault weapons ban reimpos reimposed. there is great political difficulty there but things have changed since newtown, as you pointed out and i would say one thing that changed in this town, is people from the social workers to the teachers unions, you know, the police chiefs, the mayors, bloomberg in new york, governors like cuomo, o'mally and merrill, these people are acting and you have seen some of the conservative democrats, even, shift their opinion about the possibility. and, bill says nothing will change and i think in fact most americans would agree, it will never change because the nra is so big an powerful but now people are saying, no, let's put in place sharing information among agencies so if somebody is mentally incompetent they don't get a gun and let's do something about the size of the magazine, steps can be taken when you consider that the president's personal popularity and job approval now is about to be inaugurated a second time is up
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there and congress is down there with headlights, maybe he can get something done. >> chris: newtown, it is believed is a tipping point in terms of attitude. should republicans look for level ground on guns so they are not in a position to say no to everything. >> sure, they could add in, add in some measures that perhaps, as bill suggested mental health and -- but i would think, i don't think the politics on this issue is changed all that much. it is a dangerous issue and remains one for democrats. juan mentioned the president's approval rating. in our poll the nra, the hated nra, which seems to make very little effort to promote its public -- have a public relations campaign, they've been more forceful than charming, in much of what the nra has done, 56% to the president's 51%.
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gun owners who fear their guns will be taken away, are legion and the thing the democrats have to remember is these are single-issue voters. so they may even -- even when they are a minority are dangerous and, they may like you on all kinds of things but if you are wrong with them -- >> politically dangerous, you want to point out. >> yes, i don't mean physically dangerous, obviously. so i think that this -- and i think it may be a mistake for the president to have elevated the issue so high and reached for so much. he may get something but it will not be all he wanted and, it will remains to be seen, whether he'll really get anything. >> chris: liz? >> i agree with one point, for the president it is a genuine, heartfelt issue that he is pushing that i think wouldn't have come up if newtown wouldn't have happened, talking about immigration reform, is the big you. >> iss-- new issue and for the t decade or so, the activism everybody talks about, you see
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in the polls, right now, a majority is supporting an assault weapons ban but what we have also seen recently, the minority that opposes it feels stronger than the majority that is in favor of it and the question is whether it is changing and now of the obama organization, the advocacy group that will try to get the other side to take a position and get active, we'll see. there is a sense the politics are influx right you now. >> chris: the other big story this week, of course was the terrible terrorist attack and hostage-taking at the gas complex in algeria. bill, what is that? and what is the situation in mali with the french in there, trying to protect the country from an islamic overrun? what does it say about the reach of al qaeda now, not in pakistan or afghanistan, but in this new region, in north africa, and what, if any, policy does the obama administration have to combat? >> i think the algerian -- what we will remember about this week
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is not the gun measures and gun control proposals and maybe not president obama's second inaugural address for this reason. first of all, al qaeda is not done, unfortunately it has found new territory and the french are going in, to their credit to try and save mali and we are being slow, according to news reports, even providing backup help for them. the fact that -- i want to give them credit, the armed services committee of the house and the senate, would it ever happen in the past that the algerians would have felt they didn't have to let us know they were going in on a hostage rescue mission when americans were held hostage? not just not let us know, why didn't they ask for our help? we have a lot of assets in intelligence, and, we have a lot of well trained people who could become algerians for a day if they want to and make it a more professional hostage rescue. we have so retreated from the world and countries around the world think we are not interested, we are not in mali and we are pulling out of
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afghanistan and, governments take it into their own hand and -- think about this. americans taken hostage and they don't call the u.s. government before going in with armed helicopters. >> chris: and the algerians fought a long war against the islamists and will not play mr. nice guy with anybody and they don't want our advice. >> there were days when they felt they had to call the american president, letting him know they are going in if there are american hostages. >> chris: second, panel, no panel plus because of the excitement and activity with the inauguration. but, make sure to follow us on twitter. @fox news sunday, up next, our power player of the week. hgrass, change engineering in dubai, aluminum production in south africa, and the aerospace industry in the u.s.? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds
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at chevron, if we can't do it right, we won't do it at all. we've got to think long term. we've got to think long term. ♪ >> chris: for 197 years, american presidents have been making the short trip from the white house a few hundred yards to the corner of 16th and h streets and hours before his second inauguration, barack obama will make the same journey. here's are power player of the week. >> you know you are part of the american history and from my perspective, it is a celebration of american life. >> chris: the reverend is director of st. john's episcopal church and he's talking about the tradition of the president attending a worship service there. on the morning of his inauguration. >> my hope is that it gives the president an opportunity to --
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for a pause, if you will. to have some time with meditation. and, the president feels inspired. and ready to take this oath, this awesome responsibility, that he is about to take. in a few hours. >> chris: franklin roosevelt started the custom and st. john's, across lafayette square from the white house has been linked to presidents almost two centuries. >> it has a special place, because as everyone says, location, location, location... >> chris: who was the first president to worship here. >> james madison, the first president when the church was finished in 1816. >> chris: how many presidents have worshipped here, since then. >> every one. >> chris: during the civil war lincoln worshipped at st. john's on sunday evenings. >> president lincoln would come after the service had started, sit in the very back pew of the church. >> chris: back there. >> in the very back of the church and he didn't want to deserve the congregation while they were worshipping, so he
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came late and left early. >> chris: but madison sat in the middle of the church in pew 54. and that has become the president's pew. >> when word gets out that the president is coming to worship you almost feel like the church will tilt over on one side because so many people are on that one side. >> chris: the reverend shoez showed us a book of prayer signed by every president since hoover. >> chris: gosh... what a piece of american history. >> we pray you will shower the elected leaders of this land and especially george, our president and richard, our vice president, with your life-giving spirit... >> chris: the reverend gave the invocation at bush's second inaugural. he will deliver the benediction for obama tomorrow and he gave us a preview of his message. >> the benediction is asking for god's blessing which is calling us forth to our better nature. and, you know, my gravest concern about where we find ourselves is that we are not speaking to each other. and, we have broken into camps,
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and i think that we have more in common than we have -- than that which divides us. >> chris: then he'll go back to his normal duties, at the church of the presidents. part of this, he says, is treating the president as just a member of the congregation. >> i think they are here to be reminded they are one of god's children, regardless of what positions they have in life. >> chris: but that doesn't mean he can't get a little excited about his special role. >> it keeps you on your toes. this corner of 16th and h street keeps you on your toes, you never know who is going to be in church. >> chris: he was chosen to give the benediction after another pastor bowed out because of what critics call an anti-gay sermon he gave in the '90s, this reverend presided over a handful of same sex marriages and he says scripture must be interpreted, because it gives us direction. stay tuned for this fox television station an fox news